France History Archive
Paris May-June 1968

Communiqué of the CGT

June 6, 1968

Source: l'Humanité, page 1, 7 June 1968;
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor.

The millions of workers of the public and nationalized sectors, as well as of diverse industries in the private sector whose demands have been met, have returned to work strengthened by a remarkable victory.

The National Bureau salutes the unity, the combativeness, and the great maturity of the workers who have thus concluded an essential phase of their battle under the best conditions, opening up great prospects for even wider democratic conquests.

The only workers remaining on strike are those who have come up against particularly retrograde bosses, who persist in their refusal to grant what has elsewhere been obtained.

The National Bureau of the CGT firmly declares that the settling of demands in metallurgy, construction, rubber, and a certain number of enterprises in other branches of industry in the same spirit as that which occurred in other large sectors of the economy, is an affair that involves the responsibility of the government and the CNPF [1]

The most reactionary elements among the bosses are forcing the continuation of the strikes in these sectors and act as veritable provocateurs.

In denouncing them as such, the National Bureau of the CGT insists on pointing out the grave responsibilities of the government, which acts as their protector.

The threatening declarations of the Minister of Information, the various attempts to break a justified strike, the recourse to the hired strong-arm men of the so-called “civic action committees” of M. Frey, police intervention against strikers, all of this situates this as a government of the most sordid bosses, of which Citroen and Michelin, among others, are the symbol.

Its conduct at Renault, a nationalized enterprise under its responsibility, and most notably the brutal police intervention at Flins, is a demonstration of this, and indicates an unacceptable desire for vengeance against those who gave the signal to set in motion the general strike.

That which the government did not dare to do against the workers of the large nationalized industries and the civil servants, the working class and public opinion will not tolerate that they be done against the steel- and other workers, who ask for nothing but that which has been obtained by all the others.

The National Bureau salutes the workers of the arsenals, the gas workers and the electrical workers who, at the appeal of their CGT federations, are contributing a day of their salaries for their comrades forced to pursue their strikes. It calls on the all the workers who have victoriously returned to work to take inspiration from these examples, and to immediately demonstrate the most active material and moral solidarity.

It calls on all of public opinion, which has had the occasion to appreciate the spirit of responsibility of the CGT and the calm of the millions of workers in struggle, in order that it bring its powerful support to those who are victims of a scandalous injustice and of discrimination.

The recalcitrant bosses must be forced to seriously and quickly negotiate in order to satisfy, as was done for the others, the legitimate demands of their employees.

1. Conseil National du Patronat Français — national employer’s association